Forbes | Americas Most Promising Companies | Strietzel | Jonathan Strietzel | Big Stage

Jonathan Strietzel | Americas Most Promising Companies | Forbes

Jonathan Strietzel: Forbes Magazine has a circulation of over 900,000 and its website, reaches approximately 18 million people a month. Both the magazine and the website are for the world’s top business leaders and in the October 5th, 2009 edition of Forbes, Big Stage Entertainment was named as #18 in America’s Most Promising Companies.

“Our company is very proud to have been included in such a prestigious list by one of the premier business brands in the world. We know from the hours spent answering questions and filling out forms that this was a very rigorous process. We also know that we have a lot of work to do to build this business, but we’re pleased that our efforts to date have been recognized in this way.  A big thanks to my founding partner Jon Kraft for playing a key role in hammering though this rigorous Q&A while on vacation!”

Jonathan Strietzel, President and Founder

According to “We didn’t just look for the slickest technology, the largest addressable market, the fastest-growing top lines or the most storied management team. In the specific case of Big Stage, the Big Stage Founding team organized by Jonathan Strietzel, Jon Kraft and Jon Snoddy reflect such a management staff”

The method for determining the companies recognized on this new list was explained on the Forbes website as follows:

Forbes went hunting for small, dynamic companies with the kind of growth potential that makes venture capitalists salivate. Other lists of small or privately held companies tend to be ranked according to a single metric: annual revenue, or percentage change in revenue over a given period. Yet every serious investor knows that a cursory glance at the top line is a far cry from what it takes to evaluate the potential of any promising company.

To sharpen our search, Forbes teamed with The Venture Alliance, an advisory to early-stage companies. TVA has devised a rating system for young companies in order to more efficiently determine how fundable they are. The pool of candidates included companies launched within the last 10 years and that had not passed $25 million in annual sales. (Pre-revenue companies were allowed.) Prospects were scored on a host of characteristics, among them the size of the markets they serve, the strength of their intellectual property, the extent to which founders put their own capital at risk, the experience of their management and of their directors (or advisory boards), and their record in hitting product-development benchmarks promised to equity investors.

We collected the data via a detailed survey that takes roughly two hours to complete. Entrepreneurs who had raised outside capital gave business plans to TVA for further vetting; the rest completed an even more exhaustive survey. (Both surveys have subtle double-checks built in, to make sure the companies’ storylines indeed do track.) Our partner also brought in software experts and engineers to evaluate product plans (all signed nondisclosure agreements), and Forbes reporters interviewed all the finalists. The 20 highest scorers, listed here, appear to have a better shot at raising capital–and thus are considered more scintillating than their peers.

“We were very happy to learn that Forbes recognized the technology that Big Stage had developed over the past 3 years as a leader in its class, world-wide.  Its a wonderful tribute to the hard working engineering staff in our amazing company.  We thank Forbes and TVA for the opportunity and we are proud to grace the pages of such a prestigious magazine.”

Jonathan Strietzel, President and Founder

We cannot thank Forbes and enough for the honor of gracing their prestigious pages of Americas Most Promising Companies in 2009.

Startup | UVVU The Future of Entertainment

Startup UVVU

Startup, UltraViolet, Freedom of Entertainment, includes nearly 60 leading entertainment and technology companies spanning across the globe (including Paramount, Fox Entertainment, Microsoft and IBM). See the full LIST at  They’ve combined efforts to create a revolutionary new approach to digital entertainment. UltraViolet is being designed so that UltraViolet-enabled content, devices and services can give consumers the freedom to experience the music and video like never before.

The UltraViolet logo will start appearing on movies for sale (designed for digital downloads and DVDs/Blu-ray Discs), in retailers’ stores and online offerings, and on devices or the apps that run on them. It will signify that everything with the logo will be designed to give consumers a consistent, easy and “just works” experience – no matter who makes it or where it’s purchased.

When consumers register their devices, they can be confident that their purchased content from any of the UltraViolet retailers will be available to them.

Consumers can use one of the many popular retailers, which they may already have relationships with, and a few clicks they’ll be able to link their retail accounts to their UltraViolet accounts. After that it’s shopping as usual and when they make purchases, a right is automatically added to their UltraViolet account, and its benefits are unlocked.

According to Forbes Magazine “Digital Rights Locker, as it’s called, seems to be a secure, third-party way for many news organizations to distribute content beyond the dedicated Apple-approved or Android app.”

UltraViolet is designed with families in mind, which means multiple UltraViolet devices can share a single UltraViolet account. Whether away at college in another city or just sleeping over at a friend’s house, with access to the UltraViolet Account, it will be as if everyone is still under one roof.

*For more information about the UltraViolet Startup visit

Fertile Action Gala 10′ Review

This year’s Fertile Action Gala was a huge success, with a spectacular venue in the SLS Hotel, amazing attendees and delightful entertainment. A definite night to remember.

The Gala Ballroom

A video I co-produced, created, editied and directed by Elijah Shepard for the foundation kicked off the evening followed by Dr. Susan Love. Dr. Love urged guests to join the Army of Women in the only initiative in the world that connects women diagnosed with breast cancer during their child-baring years to critical research projects affecting their health. In the past, all the breast cancer research was done on mice and as Dr. Love accurately put it, “It’s kind of hard to put mice in stir-ups.”

2010 Fertile Action Gala

Fertile Action table showcased Army of Womens work online and unveiled a poster showcasing at Livestrong’s Young Adult Alliance conference in November.

Alice Crisci Speaks at The Fertile Action Gala 10'

Alice Crisci lit up the stage as she told the Fertile Action story. Focusing on her astonishment that there was a 50/50 chance of her being personally stripped of the ability bear children and astonished at the staggering cost (approximately 20 thousand dollars) that it would take to finance any procedures that would protect her right a future as a mom. She discussed her personal experiences and the experiences of her close friends and colleagues. She pointed out that the University of Southern California Fertility was recognized for being the first of its kind to offer discounts to all women touched by cancer during their fertile years through the Open Discount financial aid program.

The evening carried on through the awards ceremony where The Vitality Award, was presented to Dr. Philomena McAndrew, an oncologist and founding partner with Tower Hematology and Oncology, for being the first to join the Fertile Action Network, pledging to ask all her patients, “Have you considered your fertility preservation options?”

In addition, the Visionary Award was given to California Cryobank and was accepted by Dr. Cappy Rothman for its leadership and partnership in the cause.

The Tasty Ta-Ta's Show

The evening continued with entertainment from the “Tasty Ta-Ta’s” crew and ended in great fashion.

All-in-all, the Fertile Action Gala was a wonderful event raising money for a terrific cause.

For further information regarding USC Fertility please visit USC Fertility and learn more about Fertile Action.

Fertile Action Gala 2010

While attending Summit Series 2010, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Alice Crisci, founder of Fertile Action and The My Vision Foundation). In a building filled with champions of industry (where everyone is “badass”), Alice’s enthusiasm and charisma made her stand out among the crowd. It seemed impossible not to feel inspired after listening to her story and learning about her cause. Her life is an example to others, a great example of what the human spirit is capable of surviving. She loves to leave people with this question: “Are you living the life you imagined?” Her positive attitude, her courage, her ability to offer hope during life’s bleakest moments, and her sheer intensity are all driving forces behind Fertile Action and part of the reason this noble cause has the potential to change the world.

It is no wonder during Lifetime’s celebration of remarkable women, she was recognized as one of the extraordinary women that inspire and empower others to make a difference in their communities and the world. See the story they ran and the recognition they gave her HERE.  I think it’s remarkable that nearly 50 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer during their reproductive years become infertile after receiving the life-saving chemotherapy treatments. So many of them are unaware of the serious consequences these treatments have on their reproductive abilities.

Even more shocking, only 25 percent of oncologists discuss this risk with their patient. Fertile Action believes everyone can play a part in changing social consciousness so fertility preservation is as commonly discussed as losing your hair from chemo. That’s why the organization launched the only multi-disciplinary outreach campaign, Fertile Action Network (FAN), that links clinicians of all disciplines, fertility clinics, oncologists, pharmaceuticals and the public as FANs of Fertility Preservation. The goal is to increase awareness of this often overlooked problem and join together to ask this simple question, “Have you considered your fertility preservation options?”

I felt compelled to get involved with the charity and am honored serve on this years host committee. I intend to donate as much time as possible to Fertile Action, with the hopes of ensuring that all women will have the opportunity to maintain their fertility and the right to motherhood after they survive cancer. Many doctors and clinicians aren’t being educated on alternative options for these young women (a majority of which have dreams of becoming mothers one day). The lack of awareness means patients don’t know all of their options. Knowledge is power and the more knowledge these women have, the better their chances of living the life they’d always imagined. Ultimately this procedure will give them the opportunity to become mothers. They deserve the same rights as every other woman that’s ever dreamed of being a mom. This is a great cause, a focused purpose, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

*Fertile Action ensures women touched by cancer during their reproductive years have the option to preserve their fertility prior to receiving life-saving cancer treatment like chemotherapy and prophylactic surgery.

For more information visit Fertile Action Gala or Fertile Action’s Site

The 2010 Fertile Action Gala Event: A Visionary Evening With Tasty Ta Ta’s will be held at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. It is a spoken word comedy performance by breast cancer survivors. Monica Piper, writer for Roseanne and former opening act for Jerry Seinfeld, will be headlining in the show. Dr. Love, also known as the rock star of the breast cancer movement will also be one of the evenings guests speakers.

The soiree includes all the common Beverly Hills swank – Kobe beef sliders, signature cocktail, complimentary wine, gift bags valued at over $300, the show and a dessert reception.

Tickets are $125 in advance and $150 at the door, tax deductible.

100% of the proceeds will benefit Fertile Action programs to ensure all women have the option to preserve their fertility prior to chemo.

Startup |

Branchout tech Startup

Strietzel – Branchout Launches

Startup company hits Facebook! Today, more than ever, job seekers are using the internet to find and apply for jobs. Career networking sites like,, and have become a more popular and efficient way of job hunting than anyone could have ever foreseen. In addition, social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, are essential in keeping up in today’s social and business world. Theres a new kid on the block; BranchOut. BranchOut has combined traditional social networking with the best of the job hunting variety  by creating the first of its kind career search application built upon the worlds largest social networking base, Facebook.

On September 17, 2010 BranchOut raised $6 million in its Series A, led by Accel. Many of the angel investors are, appropriately enough, friends and former colleagues of BranchOut CEO Rick Marini, a co-founder of which sold to for over 100MM.

In addition to Accel, which led the round (partner Kevin Efrusy sits on the board), the other two VCs were Mike Maples of Floodgate and Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners. But the round also attracted a lot of high-profile super angels, including Napster founder Shawn Fanning, former Facebook platform manager Dave Morin (Fanning and Morin are now co-founders of Path), Bebo founder Michael Birch, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, Tickle founder James Currier, former Tickle CEO Stan Chudnovsky, Blippy founder Philip Kaplan, Googler Ben Ling, Naval Ravikant, and Josh Elman (former Facebook, now Twitter).

“Basically we have this thesis that the social graph will change a lot of internet businesses,” explains Efrusy. “We fundamentally believe it will change jobs and recruiting. If you look at how most people really get their jobs it is through their real friends.”

Branchout helps you discover important connections within your immediate social network, business contacts that you might have otherwise been unaware of. It’s not only incredibly informative and valuable, but it’s quite interesting to see who’s doing what.

Kudos to the team over at BranchOut for seeing a big opportunity and moving quickly to execute on it.  Rick is not only a colleague, but a friend.  I wish him the best of luck.  If you havent checked it out yet, start using it by visiting the new and hot tech now.

FIFA World Cup 2010

Don’t miss a game!

Get the iCal link to all of the official matches here: FIFA World Cup iCal Schedule

Angel Investors | Luis Villalobos Award

Angel Investor

Angel Investors – The Luis Villalobos Award launched this year, 2010, to recognize the most ingenious and innovative idea recently financed by one of the member angel groups of the Angel Capital Association (ACA). The award will be presented to the CEO of the winning entrepreneurial company at ACA’s annual conference, with travel costs covered by the award organizers and local/national publicity and recognition also being an important part of the award.

The award has been made open to companies that have received funding from an ACA member group in 2008, 2009, or 2010 and that are in operation when the application is submitted. The award committee consists of member of the ACA Board of Directors and a representative of the award sponsor.

Yesterday, May 7th, 2010, the first Luis Villalobos award was awarded by ACA , to a start-up based in Seattle, WA.  According to the ACA, it awarded Modumetal, a developer of nano-laminated materials, used as a replacement for stainless steel.

Luis Villalobos, my close friend and mentor who passed away in late 2009, was the founder of Tech Coast Angels (TCA). He was a true innovator in the angel investment field, he was a sought after expert and speaker in the angel investment field. He was a man who appreciated honestly, originality, ingenuity and integrity.  He was an original thinker, and encouraged entrepreneurs to be think outside of the box. He not only pushed me to be the best I could possibly be, but inspired me to help others in the process.  Luis was not only one of the best people and minds I had ever encountered, he was a dear friend and top notch Angel Investor.

Summit Series DC10

So, Im heading off to Summit Series which looks like an exciting and casual get together of like entrepreneurial minds and extraordinary brain power from all over the globe.  It is an exclusive invite only event where each invitee is screened by a committee before being formally invited and ultimately granted access to the Summit and let me tell you, from the looks of the published attendees and the speakers list, Summit Series DC10 looks to be an absolute monster of a conference where a busy entrepreneurs time should be well spent.  As far as the activities go, this is no ordinary networking event full of conference halls, cheap buffet food and the personalized Sharpie pen name-tag sticker.  We are talking about the JW Marriott, 24/7 snack bars, daily Yoga, Pilates, Paintball, Exclusive Night Clubs, Scavenger Hunts, Gourmet Meals, basically the works by anyones standards.

I was told these words about ones attitude and expected behavior while at the summit.

“Check your ego at the door, everyone here is a badass”

(Josh, I dont know if you came up with that yourself, but its a winner and at the heart of that statement is what I hope the Summit is all about, only time will tell…)

With company such as Bill Clinton, Ted Turner, Russel Simmons, Ray Kurzweil, my new acquaintance and colleague Kai Huang (Guitar Hero Creator) it seems that betting on Summit Series is a guaranteed win.  Let me point out quickly that its a crime to leave some of the amazing speakers and entrepreneurs out of my short blog, but the list is truly distinguished and by no means is omission from my blog a result of any speakers lack of accomplishments or their contributions to society.  You can see a brief overview of some of the individuals that will be there by visiting the Summit Series website.

From the philanthropic to the profiteer, Summit Series DC10 is actually a mingling of minds that I am truly looking forward to.  Check my blog for daily tweets from the Summit and expect a full Summit Series DC10 blog review as soon as the Summit ends.  Till then…

Big Stage Demo – Gears